What you need:
- Two pieces of paper.
- Sunny day.
- Create a paper snowflake using one of the pieces of paper.
- Tape the paper snowflake to the blank/more reflective side of the CD so that the tape is only on the label side.
- Head outside on a sunny day and tape the other piece of paper to a fence/wall/window or have someone hold it for you.
- Reflect the sunlight so it hits the patterned CD and shows the colorful reflection on the paper.
- Move the CD back and forth and rotate it. You’re creating a dancing rainbow!
Ways to Expand the Activity:
- Trace the patterns that are reflected.
- Cut different paper snowflakes and compare the different patterns that are reflected.
- Try to cut out a specific shape to create a pattern that you want to create.
- Use a flashlight. Are you able to create the rainbow dances inside using a flashlight?
What Kids Learn:
- Interference patterns. When light passes through something with small defects like scratches, you can see rainbow colors and unique patterns.
- Experimentation! When kids experiment, they're learning how to learn. Failure is an important part of experimenting, so let kids try things that won’t work. It’s how they figure things out!
- Reflection. Change in direction of a wave that returns waves back from a surface.